Archive for the ‘Human Resources Management’ Category

Top 5 Things Employees Enjoy Most about Working for Their Company

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

In today’s video blog, Sean Walsh, CAI’s Survey Support Specialist, shares the top five reasons employees say they enjoy working for their employers.

He starts by asking, “Have you ever wondered what your employees think of your organization?”

Finding out whether your employees love or hate their workplace can be discovered by measuring employee attitudes through an Employee Opinion Survey (EOS). Sean says they are one of the tried-and-true methods of HR.

He shares that in 2014, over 3000 employees completed an employee opinion survey with CAI. In the video, Sean reveals the top five things that employees enjoy most about working for their current employers and why they enjoy these five workplace aspects:

 5) Benefits 

 4) Management

 3) Schedule / Hours 

 2) Job Responsibilities / My Work 

 1) Fellow Employees / Enjoy the People 

If you have any questions regarding Employee Opinion Surveys, or possibly conducting an Employee Opinion Survey yourself, please feel free to reach out to Sean at Sean.Walsh@capital.org.

 

Attract Top Talent with Your Employee Value Proposition

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

employee value propositionYour Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is a critical tool in your efforts to attract top talent and keep your best employees.  Think of your EVP as the elements that would make up the second half of this sentence spoken by one of your employees, “I give my time, talents, best effort, ideas for making things better and drive to succeed to (fill in your company name) and in turn I get…”

These should be your key selling points when you are talking to great candidates and when you are reminding your employees why they continue to make the good decision to stay with your organization.

The Corporate Executive Board has released data demonstrating the importance of the EVP.  An attractive EVP can reduce the compensation premium needed to hire top talent by 50 percent.  An effective EVP enables an organization to improve the commitment of employees by up to 37 percent.

Now let’s be clear, I realize not every employer can have Google-level perks.  But you need to concentrate on the key things that differentiate you as an employer against the other companies with which you compete for talent.

Here are a few areas where you can differentiate:

  • Pay
  • Health insurance benefits
  • Vacation and paid time off
  • Work-life balance or blend
  • A clear organizational purpose/mission
  • Meaningful work
  • Career development and learning opportunities
  • Positive work environment
  • Autonomy
  • Big goals and a driven workforce

It’s not just one thing that makes a difference.  And despite the fact that I listed pay first, that is only one piece.  Many people would be more than happy to take the average wage for their role to work in a great environment where they are well respected, with a great work-life balance and the chance to make meaningful contributions.

Evaluate your organization’s EVP.  If you are not sure what it is, ask a group of your best employees.  Capture it.  Put it on paper.

Now think about the audience who you want to be able to attract and keep at your organization.  Do research on that group.  Does your EVP match up to what’s important to them in an employer?  If not, what do you need to change to make your organization a more attractive destination for them?

An important point is that you need to make sure your EVP aligns with the wants and needs of the talent you want to attract and keep.  If it doesn’t, you are investing money in the wrong things.  Reevaluate the situation and make choices based on what you know about your audience.

Having a well-formulated EVP based on strategic choices you’ve made as an employer will give you an advantage over your competition for talent.  If you haven’t already developed a clear EVP, now is the time to do so.

At CAI, we are happy to talk you through this and all of your other HR issues and opportunities.  Feel free to give our Advice & Resolution team a call at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

10 HR Practices that Destroy Small Business Productivity – Letting Poor Performance Slide

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

In today’s video blog, CAI’s VP of Membership, Doug Blizzard, continues his series on the ten HR practices that destroy productivity. This month Doug focuses on poor performers and how letting them slide drains company productivity, profit and growth.

Doug asks employers to think about poor performers in their lives and how the consequences of their actions can cause frustration for others. He then shares how poor performers can negatively impact top performers.

Offering insights from management thought-leader Bruce Tulgan, Doug says that “undermanagement” is one of the most detrimental phenomenon affecting businesses today.  Doug shares that poor performers come in three categories:

  • They don’t know what do
  • They can’t do what you’re asking
  • They won’t do what you’re asking

He continues the conversation with a mention of hiring practices. Many performance problems are really hiring problems in disguise.  To prevent problems, Doug advises employers to take more time assessing candidates.

If you’d like help managing your poor performers, please call CAI’s Advice and Resolution Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

 

The Questions You Shouldn’t Ask in an Interview

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

interview questionsInterviewing candidates can be an enjoyable and sometimes stressful endeavor. This interview or interviews may be the only chance you get to ask all that you want to know about a candidate before you make a hiring decision.

You don’t want to forget to ask something and you do want to ask all of the right things. This could sound alarming to you, or maybe you love interviewing candidates and that is one of the reasons you decided to go into HR. No matter what your view is on interviewing, one thing you don’t want to do is ask questions that could get you and your company into trouble.

That’s right, trouble. There are interview questions that are illegal.  According to a recent survey from Careerbuilder.com*, one in five employers has unknowingly asked a job candidate an illegal interview question. The legality of these questions ultimately protects both parties involved. For you and your future candidates’ protection, take a look at this list of illegal interview questions:

  • What is your religious affiliation?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • What is your political affiliation?
  • What is your race, color or ethnicity?
  • How old are you?
  • Are you disabled?
  • Are you married?
  • Do you have children or plan to?
  • Are you in debt?
  • Do you socially drink or smoke?
  • When do you plan to retire?
  • Where do you live?
  • What was the nature of your military discharge?
  • Are you a U.S. citizen?

You may find that you have asked some of these questions before, or that you need to know these things to make your hiring decisions. You may have wanted to know if someone was ok with relocating so you asked her where she lives. To make sure you are protected, ask her instead flat out if she is willing to relocate. Or ask a candidate where he sees himself in fifteen years instead of when he is planning on retiring.

Think through interview questions before asking them, and make sure you aren’t breaking any laws!

For more information of the legalities of interviews and interview questions, contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

*Careerbuilder.com

Photo Source: COD Newsroom

Summer Planning for Youth Employment

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015
Pat Rountree, HR Advisor

Pat Rountree, HR Advisor

Summer is on its way, and in today’s post, CAI’s Advice and Resolution team member Pat Rountree shares critical information about summer employment opportunities for teens and young adults.

Applications for summer employment are likely already arriving as the school year draws to an end. Now is a good time to review things you need to know to be in compliance with laws affecting youth employment.

Wage and Hour Laws

Non-Agricultural

North Carolina and federal law have limitations on hours and occupations for employees under age 18 applicable to non-agricultural employers. Where North Carolina employers are also subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the laws that offer the most protection to minors are applicable.

Youth under 18 may not work in any occupations determined to be hazardous or detrimental. (See http://j.mp/NC-HAZ and http://j.mp/NC-DET.)

During non-school weeks, there are no restrictions on hours for youth 16 and over. If they are attending school, they may not work during the hours of 11:00 pm to 5:00 am if they have school the next day unless waived in writing by a parent or principal.

Minors age 14 and 15 may not work in any manufacturing job and are limited to eight hours per day, 40 hours per week between the hours of 7:00 am and 7:00 pm (7:00 am to 9:00 pm from June 1 to Labor Day) during non-school weeks. They must also be given a 30 minute break after working five hours. For more detailed information on restrictions for youth age 14 and 15, go to http://j.mp/Y-15.

Children of business owners may work for their parents in their business any hours, but not in hazardous or detrimental occupations as noted above.

Agricultural/Farm Jobs

North Carolina does not regulate youth employment in agriculture. For the applicable federal law, go to http://j.mp/j-ag.

Youth Certificate Required

All youth under age 18 working in North Carolina must obtain a youth certificate (worker’s permit) and submit it to the employer prior to starting work. See http://bit.ly/ncdol-y. These must be retained for at least two years after employment ends or until the employee reaches age 20.

Agricultural Occupations

The North Carolina youth employment provisions do not apply to farm work.

Drug Testing and Background Checks

Attorneys recommend having the parent sign the consent for pre-employment drug testing or post-offer background checks if these are required contingencies. However, the results should be released to the minor and not the parent(s).

Completing the Form I-9

If the minor has documents to satisfy I-9 requirements, they may complete Section 1 and present documents.

If the minor cannot present documentation of proof of identity and authorization to work, the parent may complete Section 1 on behalf of the minor. (See http://j.mp/I9-m.)

If you have questions about youth employment, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution team at 919‑878‑9222 or 336‑668‑7746.

Connecting with Peers Encourages Professional Growth

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

CAI’s Peer Learning Recruiter, Jennifer Montalvo, shares the many benefits of collaborative learning in today’s post.

Jennifer Montalvo, Peer Learning Recruiter

Jennifer Montalvo, Peer Learning Recruiter

Whatever the phrase you choose: Masterminds, Power Circles or Peer Learning Groups, professionals are realizing that joining forces with others increases their ability to attain their goals.

According to Mia Taylor’s recent article on MainStreet.com,  Why Women Entrepreneurs Love New “Power Circles” Concept, where you meet, whether in a traditional group setting or virtually through an online community, is not as relevant as the genuine support that you receive as a participant. Members of these circles find power through the following:

FACILITATION & SCHEDULED MEETINGS:   Having set times to meet and a facilitator to drive conversations forward while seeking resolutions allows members to really get to know and trust one another.  This also creates an environment of safety and encouragement to step out of his or her comfort zone and engage in deep reflection.

AUTHENTICITY & STRENGTH:  There is power in joining forces and finding support with other peers.  When relationships are formed and trust is present, members are encouraged to dig deep, find their vision and pave a path to accomplish their goals.  Conversations become authentic rather than superficial.   They are able to draw from the strengths and experiences of others and solve problems.

CONFIDENCE & CLARITY:  Members are continuously reaping the rewards of these groups with increased knowledge and understanding of their field as well as the insight into “what comes next” in their professional path.  Members have been known to walk away from meetings stating they have never been so inspired due to the perspective and experience of others. 

Relationships are the currency in this economy of professional peers.  The value they find lies in each individual who is committed to contribute on a reoccurring basis.  In the end, members who may have been alone or isolated in their workplace are able to build partnerships, collaborate and strengthen alliances due to the power of their circle of peers.

If you would like more information regarding Peer Learning Groups offered here at CAI, please contact Jennifer Montalvo at 919-431-6093 or Jennifer.Montalvo@capital.org. If you are interested in learning  about CAI’s online community myCAI, please contact Jamie Roberts, CAI’s Virtual Peer Community Leader, at Jamie.Roberts@capital.org.

9 Steps to Elevate Your Employer Brand

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

recruitingBersin by Deloitte’s “Predictions for 2015: Redesigning the Organization for a Rapidly Changing World” included this important guidance:

Invest, refocus and redesign talent acquisition — leveraging network recruiting, brand reach and new technologies. In addition to marketing their organization and career opportunities, organizations should also market their mission, purpose, leadership team and work experience. Millennials and high performers look at all of these factors in an employer today.

The ten predictions from Bersin by Deloitte for 2015 cover topics from employee engagement to culture to new HR technologies and more. According to the report, the big overall trend for this year is that companies will have to re-engineer the way they do HR. What makes the prediction above so important is that last line, specifically the reference to high performers.

We are now in a job market where high performers can choose whichever company they want to contribute their talent and knowledge.  They can also much more easily walk away from a company that they feel is not allowing them to be as successful as they could be, or that they don’t believe in.

And these high performers are critical.  How critical?  A study by Ernest O’Boyle and Herman Aguinis published in 2012 found that a high performer can deliver 400% more productivity than the average performer.  400%!!

So if your top performers, or 4Xers, and the 4Xers you’d like to recruit to your organization, are paying extra close attention to your mission, purpose, leadership team and employer brand, you want to make sure that you’ve put the time in to develop those key items in a way that will attract and retain that top talent.

How can you go about doing that?  Here’s a suggested approach:

  1. Watch Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” TED Talk video. Now, how can you apply that to your organization?
  2. Take a look at your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). If you’ve got it documented, great. If not, document it. What makes your organization a special place for employees to work? What differentiates you as an employer from those other companies that you compete with for employees?
  3. Evaluate your EVP. Is it what you want it to be? What will you need to do to continue to attract and retain 4Xers over the next two to three years? If you are where you need to be, great, continue on. If not, how can you get there?
  4. Use that EVP in your discussions with candidates and employees. Make sure your executives and managers use it. And most importantly, make sure you deliver it to employees. Nothing can be worse than saying one thing and doing another.
  5. Develop your core “talent” messaging by choosing three to five key points of your EVP to highlight. What are the things that matter most to your audience? Not sure what they are? Ask your best employees.
  6. Determine the demographics of your target audience (4Xers) and how to reach them. Social media? Websites/blogs? Trade publications? Newspapers?
  7. Establish your presence in those areas and start your messaging. Maximize your social media presence on whatever channel(s) your target audience loves. Learn how best to use these mediums so that you are not just blasting “advertising” at your audience.
  8. Highlight employees. Ask your best employees to shoot a video or offer a statement about what working for your organization means to them. Recognize your employees for accomplishments or for extra effort. Encourage them to share with family, friends and networked connections.
  9. Evaluate your progress. What’s working and what’s not? Keep and expand on the things that are working. Get rid of the things that are not (once you’ve given them a sufficient amount of time – roughly six months). Add something new that you think may have an impact. Then start over at whatever point in the process that makes sense for you.

Please consider these nine steps as a template to get you started and build on them.  You want to begin this process sooner and not wait until later.  Don’t wait to get it perfect.  Start influencing your future 4Xers now and step up your efforts to keep the ones you’ve got.

Questions?  At CAI we can walk you through this and most other employer challenges.  Feel free to contact me at martin.morgan@capital.org or 919-878-9222.

Quick Tips for the Social Media Newcomers

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

employer and social mediaIn the past 5-10 years, social media platforms have taken the Internet by storm. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr and countless other social platforms are used by businesses and organizations for marketing, recruiting, thought leadership and overall brand awareness. With the vast variety of social media platforms and uses, it can be a challenge to know everything about social media and how it can fit in with your company’s goals.

For those businesses that have just started out in the social media world, here are a few tips to help you start your social media use.

 

Target Your Desired Audience

Like other types of marketing and communication tools, audience targeting is extremely important on social media.  Building your audience is extremely important, but you also need to target your audience so you can reach your customers, investors, employees and surrounding community. Make a note of who likes your Facebook page and follows you on Twitter instead of just setting a target number. That way you can reach a large audience that will actually want to engage with your business.

 

Connect With Your Audience

Once you have targeted your desired audience, it is time to connect with them. Connecting is important across social platforms and can be done in a variety of ways. It may seem easier to put out content every day or every week and then let people read it, but social media has the capability of generating two-way communication. Take advantage of what it has to offer and message followers on Twitter and Facebook or tweet at someone to engage in conversation. Don’t limit yourself – start a dialogue!

 

Choose the Appropriate Platform(s)

There are numerous platforms, but you may find that only a few work for your company and actually reach your target audience. It is important to focus on the appropriate platforms that your audience is on instead of spreading yourself thin amongst five or more platforms when only two are actually connecting with your audience. For example, Facebook is an extremely popular and valuable platform, but that does not mean it is appropriate for every company. Evaluate multiple social platforms to figure out which ones work best for your company.

 

Engage Employees

While you may only have a few people running your company’s social media pages (or only one!), it is helpful to have employees engage on social media with the business as well. Encourage employees that have social media accounts to share and like content so that you can reach more people. This can help generate credibility and exposure.

 

Social media use is perfected through practice, exposure and research. For more information on social media for businesses go to www.facebook.com/cai.hr.nc or www.twitter.com/caihr.

Photo Source: mkhmarketing

 

When Can I Be Held Personally Liable for Employment Actions?

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

CAI’s Advice and Resolution team member Pat Rountree shares valuable information regarding liability for employment actions in today’s post.

Pat Rountree, HR Advisor

Pat Rountree, HR Advisor

Employment laws outline employer responsibilities for compliance under the various regulations. From time to time, the Advice and Resolution team is asked, “Can I be held personally responsible?” The answer is, it depends. It depends on the definition of employer under the regulation and/or the interpretation of that definition by the court if it is ambiguous.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines employer to include any person acting directly or indirectly in the interest of the employer in relation to an employee. That definition could include HR Managers and other managers or supervisors who have the authority by the employer to exercise control over the employee’s job. HR Managers and managers who review job classification could be held liable for misclassification of a job as exempt when it should have been non-exempt, resulting in failure to pay overtime.

Individuals who qualify as employers as explained above may also be liable under the Equal Pay Act if they are responsible for paying a male more than a female for the same job unless there are factors to support the differential (more experienced, merit based on documented performance, etc.).

The Family and Medical Leave Act follows the same definition as the FLSA. Supervisors and managers who have authority over an eligible employee can be held responsible for denying FMLA or failing to fulfill other requirements of FMLA. Examples of individual responsibility include failure to designate absences that qualify as FMLA resulting in disciplinary action for absences (train your supervisors), and failure to provide FMLA notices (HR take note).

Other employment laws that can hold individuals personally responsible for violations include:

  • USERRA – failure to hire or taking negative action against a person because of their military service or other actions in violation of the Act
  • Section 1981 Civil Rights Act – discrimination based on race/color (Title VII does not consider individuals as employers; Section 1981 permits individual actions)
  • HIPAA – revealing personally identifying health information
  • ERISA – fiduciary breach of responsibilities under health care plan, retirement or 401(k) plan, or other covered plans
  • Immigration and Reform Act – knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant

Employees can also sue personally responsible individuals under state tort laws for wrongful discharge, or other conduct that violates a duty of care that a supervisor, or manager may have in their role.

While employees may not know that they could sue individuals, plaintiffs’ lawyers do. Where there is individual liability, the opportunity for monetary gain increases as individuals can have the same penalties as employers.

Please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution team with questions at 919‑878‑9222 or 336‑668‑7746.

I Didn’t Come to Work Because I Dreamed I Got Fired

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

work and tardinessNo, this isn’t an April Fools’ joke. An employee actually told his employer that he missed a day of work because he dreamed he got fired. Getting to work can be a challenge, but with added obstacles like life-changing dreams, shower accidents and drunken forgetfulness, the commute can become harder.

A recent survey from CareerBuilder with help from Harris Poll found that participants gave reasons like the ones from above as to why they arrived to work late. More the 2,100 HR managers and more than 3,000 employees in several industries participated in the nationwide survey from November 4 to December 2, 2014.

The survey found that more than one in five employees admitted to being late to work at least once a month and 15 percent of participants said that arriving late to work is a weekly occurrence. Of the employees who admitted to arriving late, 30 percent also admitted to lying about the reason for their tardiness.

Responses from the survey revealed that traffic is the most common factor for tardiness, followed by lack of sleep and bad weather. Not as common, but still culprits of causing tardiness include getting kids ready for school or daycare, public transportation issues and wardrobe malfunctions.

CareerBuilder’s survey also asked employees what was the most outrageous excuse they’d ever given and they shared the following:

  • I knocked myself out in the shower.
  • I was drunk and forgot which Waffle House I parked my car next to.
  • I discovered my spouse was having an affair, so I followed him this morning to find out who he was having an affair with.
  • Someone robbed the gas station I was at, and I didn’t have enough gas to get to another station.
  • I had to wait for the judge to set my bail.
  • There was a stranger sleeping in my car.
  • A deer herd that was moving through town made me late.
  • I’m not late. I was thinking about work on the way in.
  • I dreamed that I got fired.
  • I went out to my car to drive to work, and the trunk had been stolen out of it.

If you receive an excuse similar to the ones above from an employee tomorrow, you may want to wait for them to say “April Fools!” before you start to doubt. You can read more about the survey here.

Photo Source: Tiffany Bridge